Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Although this is not quite the before and after it is progress since we moved in last year. This is before in case you wondered!

and today

A number of trees have been cut on the plot this week in readiness for the Olive trees being relocated on Friday. The big diggers arrive the week after to commence clearing the land and prepare for digging foundations.

This is roughly the view from where our lounge will be.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

We have been away hence no blogs for the past week!

And next week is the end of May - so much to do before then!

Last Friday we headed to the Cote D'Azur with friends Geoff & Wendy. We stayed in Bormes Les Mimosas, a delightful perched village with views of the Mediterranean.

We also visited St Tropez where we had cocktails at La Quai, one of the trendiest bars on the strip.

On Saturday we spent the afternoon on the beach at Six four plage, a really unspolit part of the Cote D'Azur before dining at our 'very French Hotel'- pictured.

On Sunday we stopped for lunch at a lovely seafood restaurant in Bandol, quite a lively resort where there was a huge exhibition of English sports cars. Of course most of the exhibitors were more interested in there picnics and wine than the cars but thats the French for you!(note the man in the picture)

The eating and drinking continued Monday with wine tasting followed by a bbq and the opportunity to consume our tested wines!

In an effort to walk off some of the excesses we walked 'up the to chateau' in our village on Tuesday morning, and after a stroll around the market had to retreat from the heat to the bar, followed by lunch by the pool and of course a cooling swim - although not so cool - the water is now at 28 degrees!

Well after Geoff & Wendy departed its back to work for us before our next visitor in a fortnight.We are trying to complete the painting of the shutters as Simon endeavors to complete the rendering, despite temperatures now in the early 30's.

The Olive trees are due to be removed and replanted on Friday so work will soon commence on the land. Watch this space!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I would not normally post a picture of Karen in bed but could not resist this! I am not sure who is more contented!Her or Matisse?

Last Tuesday was a holiday here,the second in the month,this time for Armistice, the problem in France is that they have what is known as a bridge day, ie Monday , bridging the weekend in to the holiday,so the first holiday, May Day , becomes a two day holiday, then this one and then next week Thursday is Ascension so no one works Friday - try getting anything done in May - its not easy!

We need water on our land, for building of course, but before this we need to transport about 12 Olive trees which need water. SDEI ( the state owned water company) have not yet appointed this years contractors to do the work so we have to wait or find an alternative way of getting water.

We have been working outside all week, in the garden, planting and finally refurbishing the boule court. We have been removing all the brown shutters, rubbing down,undercoating and then two top coats. Our driveway is a cross between Steptoe's yard and an Indian Shanti town, pity our neighbours!

Of course Karen is on prep and I am on top coats!

But it is coming together and we hope all will be completed by the end of May.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The heat has been causing quite a headache for Simon, our Macon,as he endeavors to complete the rendering. We shall be on shutter duty from Wednesday, hopefully completing the re painting within 10 days.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Well we have a new President - it will be interesting to see how the French accept change under Sarkozy.

Thankfully our weather depression has departed ( north I think) and we are back under blue skies and warm sunshine , so exterior work can recommence in earnest.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's still raining, our water tank is over flowing and the pool is close to the top - hopefully the sun is coming back Sunday. Not a lot of work going on outside! Brigadoon!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

After 4 glorious weeks our weather has well and truly broken, since Monday we have had thunder storms and heavy, much needed rain.The temperatures have plunged so rain has stopped the rendering and outside activities! make the best of your sunshine blighty!
What a difference a few days makes

this was last week

And today!

there, now I have come out and admitted - it does rain in Provence - thank fully not often though!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

We received our first visitor of the 'season'over the weekend, Martin. Well he is quite a regular actually, fresh from his Trek up Kilimanjaro we thought it only right he keep active so we put him to work on the garden where he did a sterling job weeding and planting amongst other things.

His reward (over and above being fed and watered - well wined actually) was a trip to Cassis on Friday where we lunched and then drove the route de Crete where this picture was taken.

On Saturday I spent the day with Eric, our Portugese gardener, felling trees on one of the plots. I have not done so much physical work in ages! In the evening we went to a restaurant in L'Isle Sur La Sorgue, known as the Venice of Provence. The river runs through the centre of the town and is lined with restaurants. After this we went to see Raoule Petite, A local french Rock band who are a cross between the Stones and Madness- real entertainment, the concert was out doors - 'in the park' and started at 10.30 finishing just after midnight.

We currently have an interesting dilemma - word has spread of our House hunting activities- and we are being increasingly contacted by people, both French and English asking us to sell their properties! We could quite easily list half a dozen or more but it it not quite what we had planned. The agents service is poor and there could be a tremendous opportunity to expand what we are already doing - it's something to put into the melting pot with everything else! One of the problems is unlike in the UK where I would spend abt an hour listing a house here it is a far longer job! Last night we had a rendevous at 6pm and found our selves returning home at 9pm after consuming a little more wine than we should have! It is more of a social role than job! not a bad way to earn a living though!